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Fri, 09 Dec 2011

Around the K in a Day - 10:26

Only 100km to go (fullsize)
Though I have previously been calling this the SLER loop/ride that does not make much sense as that was only what we called it on the 2004 attempt. The moniker a few people have been using recently makes a lot more sense. Around the K in a day.

The course is 320 km on road with 6500 metres of climbing (and descending) spread around the loop. Some of the best scenery in the Australian alpine region that is easily accessible and a fantastic day out on bikes.

We did it last time in Feb though my diary entries for it were a bit later. It seems the standard timing for us these days is to get around with a 5:15am start and finishing around 9 to 9:15pm. This time we had two half hour stops for food (Adaminaby and Khancoban), a shorter stop at Cabramurra and a few water refills from mountain streams.

I still did not make it this time around, I did feel I was able to however was riding a lot slower than the others on the hills. With a 20km climb to go before rolling mostly downhill to Jindabyne we managed to find a lift for me up the hill so the others did not feel bad leaving me behind as it got dark. Still a wonderful day out on bikes and I am keen to try again. Looks like we may try again on Feb 18, or Feb 25th (though I think I would prefer 18th if everyone can manage that weekend).

Anyway all the photos I took are online, fun was had.

[/mtb] link

Through the pearly gates in a 200 mph fireball - 10:23
Anyone who recognises the quote probably has already guessed I watched Top Gear last night (the expression about going through the pearly gates in a fireball seems to be a favourite of the presenters). I agree with so many other viewers that this is a funny show. Heck I tend to have an almost negative interest in cars and yet this show has me laughing along throughout most episodes.

I remember watching the old series with Clarkson in it when I was living in the UK in 1993, though at the time I paid some small interest in cars (such as watching Ayrton Senna in F1 races) I do not recall Top Gear being so amusing. I suspect they really ramped up the humour of it when they changed the format and started the new series in 2002. My amusement at the pearly gates expression has me trying to think of a few expressions for how various people may want to go, somewhat macabre maybe but I am trying to think of it in a similar manner to my Fairy Tales in the key of Klingon post. Alas nothing comes to mind yet.

[/various] link

Finally faster - 10:23
Well it happened, this is now hosted on something a bit faster. Since sometime in 1999 Martijn and I have had the same colo machine (wherever it was located). An AMD K6-2 400 Mhz, with 128 MB of RAM and 2 9 GB IDE drives (not raided or anything). For a while now we had been discussing the need to upgrade the hardware to something a bit more recent, or at least to put more memory in.

Back in November I mentioned this to Steve Walsh of Nerdvana, he told me they do colo, and would throw in new hardware (leasing arrangement) all for less per month than we are currently paying and colocated in a rather nice facility in Sydney. Martijn and I thought this sounded tops so signed up.

Finally we shifted all the domains and config and data and everything across for the final time last night and we now are actively using the new server for all domains we host and everything else. The new machine is definitely a nice step up, now a Dual 3 GHz Xeon with Hyperthreading, 1 GB of RAM and 2 250 GB SATA drives configured in RAID 1 for full redundancy. Damn this new machine is fast, operations that used to take a few minutes now happen in 2 or 3 seconds.

Finally I can do a few things I have been holding off from doing on the old machine for a while, either for lack of disk space, lack of memory or incredibly high load caused by trying to do the things I had in mind. Heck I may even add some sort of comments thing to this diary (Jane reckons I need comments here)

One of the other problems with the old machine was I had never gotten it to cleanly boot up into a kernel newer than 2.2.20pre2, which meant ancient firewalling, probably a few vulnerabilities, inability to try some new things that may have been interesting and a few other issues. The machine was also running Woody, so it is nice to have Sarge with a few even newer bits on the new machine.

RIP, long live (we did not change the name, which was confusing once or twice while moving config over).

[15:46:41] 9 calyx sjh ~>
  sh -c 'cat /proc/cpuinfo ; free ; df ; uname -a' | egrep 'MHz|Mem|cg0-data|Linux'
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
Mem:       1036352    1001088      35264          0      68208     713860
/dev/mapper/vg0-data 235694888   8981204 214741076   5% /data
Linux calyx #1 SMP Fri Nov 25 23:43:09 EST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux
[15:47:27] 10 calyx sjh ~>

[/comp/hardware] link

We have a team, a support crew, some boats, some bikes, cool lets go hurt ourselves. - 10:23
Last year I competed in the Geoquest Half adventure race with Lina, Michelle and Ian. This year I wanted to go back and compete in the full length race. The half is a 24 hour race (effectively), the full has a 48 hour time limit to complete the course. (well the half also has a 48 hour time limit, however it is approximately half the distance).

This race is a fairly large commitment of time, training and money to compete in, simply getting through 48 hours without sleep while navigating and racing in different disciplines is not trivial. Unfortunately none of my team mates from last year were able to compete this year (Knee Injury for one, another in South Africa, and the last not wanting to try the full length race this year).

Fortunately I have been able to convince 3 other friends to come along and race. Bruce, who I compete in Triple Tri with and other events over the past few years. Craig who has been doing some rides with Bilbys recently and has done a 24 hour mtb solo and is a damn tough bugger. Danealle who raced the full Geo last year with the Pink Ladies and thus has experience and proven toughness. Rock on, one hell keen team out there to have fun on the full course.

For support crew I have Jane (sister) returning, Zoe a Bilbys friend who wants to find out what Geo is about with the aim of possibly competing next year, Tom (Zoe's partner, who is likely to be roped in as support next year), James a mountain biking friend with bike mechanic experience to wrench and stuff and Louise (Jane's flatmate) who sounded enchanted with the support thing after Jane described it last year (I hope Louise fails to realise last year Jane had a remarkably easy support job due to the course structure, but hey if you wont tell her I wont...)

Next we had to get a pair of double sea kayaks, preferably fibreglass (lighter and generally thinner and faster) and ensure we had the rest of the gear needed (lights and batteries sufficient to last two nights in a row when we may be separated from our support crew for a long time), and generally commit to doing the race.

I have a new toy I bought which will take care of one of the above requirements, I will probably mention it next week when I get it, other than that we have been out doing some training and sussing out some of the gear and talking in the team about what conditions have been like previously and will be like this year.

Our main goal is to have fun and complete the course, we think we stand a good chance of meeting both goals. Bruce is overseas for work this week, however last night Craig, Danealle and I went out for a hill hike on Mt Ainslie which was fun, this was after a paddle yesterday morning with Danealle. This morning Craig and I both rode with the Bilbys road bunch and then headed to the lake for another paddle. I guess if nothing else this gives me something to get off my lazy arse an do some exercise for <g>.

The team motto for the event is "Because its there and fun will be had" and the bio I put in with the race entry was

4 Canberrans who constantly find there is more fun to be had outdoors than in our loungerooms.

We know each other from the Canberra AR community and the Bilbys Tri club, though none of us are triathletes.

Steve and Danealle have raced at Geo before and both have an affectation for the colour pink, Craig and Bruce will probably attempt to counter the pink gear (boat, mountain bike, some clothing, etc) of half the team.

Bruce and Steve have been doing events in teams together for a number of years, including some AR. Danealle has done a lot of AR, Craig is a tough nut and likes to try new stuff.

Our aim is to have fun and complete the course.

[/mtb/events] link

Woohoo for Radio National - 10:23
So I recalled Mikal mentioning Radio National Podcasts a while back, this interests me, in the past I have lamented the lack of AM support in radio tuner cards for the exact reason that it would rock to be able to record Radio National shows and play them on a mobile device when ever you wanted to listen to them.

I googled the other day and found the Radio National podcast page, they do indeed have a pretty good selection of shows available for download. I rang Crash to ask if he had been doing any of this podcasting radio national thing, he rides to work every day, a rather nice ~ 23 KM commute, listening to an mp3 player or a radio. Crash had indeed been engaging in this podcasting thing, downloading any new casts night at 3am. I asked what application he used to do this, a Gooey application would be kind of silly to use for this so I hoped there was a basic CLI application for the task.

Crash was able to point out this rather cool shell script, Bashpodder, to download all new/updated feeds from a list of feed URL's. Mikal, sfr and Rusty will I am sure be glad to see a very useful application, written in shell still rather than some other language, that it works reliably and the newer release even shrank from 76 lines of shell to 44 lines (now including more comments too).

I added all the RN feeds I wanted into the file one per line, ran the script and a few minutes later I had 800 MB of cool Radio National content in mp3 format ready for listening anywhere and anywhen. Now if only we could convince the government to fund the ABC and Radio National better so they can keep up the fantastic work well on into the future.

[/leisure] link

Ghosts starting to gather - 10:23
This weekend the Ghosts of lca meeting is happening, for those of you outside the lca world (ie most of you) each year we gather some of the organisers of previous conference organisers and some LA people at the venue for the coming conference to talk to the new organising team and work out stuff for the conference.

Anyway this morning Mark Tearle (LA Treasurer) arrived in Canberra at 6am on the red eye from Perth. AJ (Anthony Towns) will be arriving later today, as will most of the other people attending from outside Canberra (Michael Davies, Anand Kumria, Ryan Verner, Pia Smith, Jeff Waugh, etc, etc). This is going to be a pretty busy weekend.

[/lca] link

Pubbage and no business talk - 10:23
So a few weeks ago Pia asked if we had planned any social gathering on the friday night before ghosts for the people who had arrived in Canberra already. By social gathering she of course meant rock up to a pub and chat.

Anyway, though I live about 50 metres from All Bar Nun I only really go there about once every three months if that, and dont really go to pubs much. Too busy mtb riding or something I guess.

I said sure lca crew and other ghosts attendees in Canberra by friday night could rock up to All Bar and sit around chatting about all things unrelated to lca and LA.

So now the reason for this whole spiel, the amusing part is, Pia and Jeff decided they had to attend the SLUG meeting and are now not arriving in Canberra until around 11pm.

[/lca] link

Trying to be fair to students with a few doing damage. - 10:23
So we have been watching the traffic a bit on our student networks and have noticed that some students are using ssh tunnels to download huge amounts of data over the fat pipe the uni has. Considering we have ssh open and most other ports closed one would hope the students did not abuse this. Too much to hope for I guess.

We could block ssh entirely to the student networks however that is not a good thing as students should be able to log on and do work from remote locations.

The solution we are looking at is accounting for all student traffic on both incoming and outgoing such that ssh is blocked to all but one machine. Then on this one machine we have the netfilter patch that lets us account for traffic on the INPUT chain on a per user basis. This will mean we can set student quotas for all data, or maybe even simply subtract the ssh incoming traffic from their web quotas also.

I guess students will simply have to get used to using one machine to access the rest of the student systems, should not be hard for them and will stop the people abusing the system.

[/work] link

Cans of weed killer left next to the garden - 10:23

Cans of weed killer next to the garden (fullsize)
I noticed one of my housemates must have been tending the garden and only used one can of this weed killer, I guess there will be more weeds to kill with the unopened can soon.

This reminds me of DAAS or possibly Flacco in one of the DAAS videos saying some line like "Nah it's beer mate". This time instead the line would more aptly be "Nah it's weed killer mate".

[/various/ilmiwac] link

What is happening to these magazines - 10:23
Okay so after sitting in meetings all weekend in preperation for lca I have not been out on the mtb or road bike all weekend and have to admit I could use a ride. It looks like the rain may be setled in for all of tomorrow now also which may stop me.

Anyway I purchased a copy of the magazine Ausralian Mountain Bike, it appears my subscriptiuon ran out as it did not arrive at work the past few weeks, anyway I was told by a few friends in the past two weeks that this issue was kind of abysmal, I was hoping they would be wrong and all that, however I think this time I have to agree, the only articles I found interesting this issue were the columns by Jim Trail and TTfH (Tony Fathers), and to some extent this may simpy be because they are friends.

I think the thing that turned me off in this issues was simply nothing grabbed my attention, most issues a least one or two stories/articles manage to look good and turn out to be good reading, I suppose I should try to quantify why this time nothing grabbedmy attention and usually something can, I think I will instead simply leave my brain on downtime tonight however.

[/mtb] link

Glad to be doing a ride again - 10:23
So I didn't get time to go out on the bike yesterday, finally this morning I was able to do a ride again (no rain to ruin components), although it was an easy ride (Bilbys wednesday morning bunch ride) it just felt good to be spinning the legs over again. The new ahead stem on a quill stem adapter on the road bike looks and feels pretty good (roox mtb stem, so now the fattest tube on the road bike is on the head stem, if I crash the road bike that will be the last component to break, or something), though on the whole the road bike needs a clean and some work to make it feel really good again. I swapped bikes to ride to work as I have my hardtail up and running again so I rode that to work.

[/mtb] link

I am obviously slack - 10:23
So I did not get out for the cotter/uriarra loop on the road bike this morning, and this is strange as I really want to go for a ride. Part of it is, I admit, the really heavy rain last night probably had me convinced it would be a bit damp. Mikey did the loop and has since called all of us who didnt soft. If I can get some lca stuff (ghosts minutes, and agenda for the next meeting) plus a resonable amount of work at work I would like to go for a ride during the day. However I also have to visit the bike shop, as more bits broke, need replacing, etc. Bike equipment really doesnt last, though I suppose that may have something to do with the regularity with which I ride a bike.

[/mtb] link

Oh no I missed another Blorthday - 10:23
Just like last year when I posted about the Blorthday a day late, but you know worse because this time I am 5 days late. So yeah 26th August was the second anniversary of this diary, and what did I do? Nothing, no cake, no party, not even a post. I am pretty sure my diary is going to go sit in a field and eat worms any second now.

Stats this time around are

[18:16:50] 3 oneiros sjh ~/diary/data>find -name '*.text' | wc -l
[18:16:54] 4 oneiros sjh ~/diary/data>wc `find -name '*.text'`
19384 145996 929924 total

I passed the 500th post without noticing, I will soon have more than 1 MB of my blathering up here (when the third number just next to total says 1048576). 221 posts is down a fair bit from 337 the previous year. One thing I have noticed is I have not been keen to sit around and work on silly category posts much (various/ilmiwac). Not sure why.

On the whole maybe I am just not as worthy of the cool t-shirt Andrew gave me, especially when you consider the fact there are still no photos of my non existent cat on here to provide some blogthenticity.

[/various] link

Hurty Andrew - 10:23
So this morning we had our ritual friday morning Bilbys mtb ride. This time we rode a Majura Pines, which being one of the Canberran mtb mecca destinations is a lot of fun. My bike computer said 26KM and 1hour 24min by the end of the ride. I wonder if I should maybe feel bad for Andrew Rowe, I did a rather enjoyable gap jump over a gully at Majura and he decided upon seeing me do this that it was not so hard so attempted it. Andrew was riding his single speed rather than his Orange Duallie and unfortunately came to grief, landing about 10 cm short his back wheel bucked up and threw him over the handlebars. Breakfast and coffee and all that at the pickle after the ride calmed him down I hope, he has since said he squealed pretty loudly in the shower.

[/mtb] link

My software works too well, change it back - 10:23
I have upgraded a few of the systems at work recently to a far more recent image, this one based on feisty (users get to choose what environment they log in to though (kde, gnome, something else, etc)). A short while after putting the image on James' desktop he wandered over and asked if I had doubled the size of the swap partition. When I said that had not changed he was almost amazed as he said around half the memory used before the upgrade was now in use.

It appears the profiling and lower memory foot print work various gurus in the kde and gnome and similar camps has paid dividends as there appears to be a pretty big drop in usage and memory leaks here and everything feels a bit faster all of which is good news. Not that I have done any real testing but perceived feel is relevant to some extent in a computing environment.

The most amusing thing here I thought was my interpretation of how he asked the question, it sounded almost as if something was wrong. As if James was saying "my computer is not using enough memory, and is running to fast, fix it, make it as slow and hoggy as it used to be". I guess at least he was not about to request a change to a computing system that seems to constantly get slower and more user unfriendly with every major release.

[/comp/software] link

False advertising on ride speed - 10:23
So last week Allan circulated an email suggesting a few of us join in for a leisurely paced (28KMh to 30 KMh) road ride around the mostly flat/easy loop of Barton Hwy, Nanima Rd, Murrumbatemen Rd, Gundaroo, turn around and then out Shingle Hill Way to the Old Federal Hwy and back into town. This is around 100 KM for people starting and finishing northside.

Though there was a CORC race on that arguably I should have done as I need the fitness and speed from the race I decided to take the soft option and head out for this road ride.

However upon finding the bunch I see Allan's email had convinced around 30 of the Vets club members into joining in the fun, this included the likes of Nick, Chris, Pete H who like to go fast and a few others who, due to there being no race this weekend decided it would be fun to go a bit faster.

Thus we ended up doing the 100 KM ride with an average speed of 34 KMh, which fortunately was easy if you stayed sitting in the bunch the whole time, however it was entertaining to tease Allan on his ride with far more people and a much higher average speed than sort of advertised.

[/mtb] link

British "Whose Line Is It Anyway" - 10:23
As most people should know British comedy tends to be the best around, a show I was hooked on when living in the UK for all of 1993 is Whose Line Is It Anyway, airing from 1988 to 1998. I taped around 13 episodes from Foxtel my my mum's house a few years ago (they have Foxtel, on which it was airing). There was a US version of the show, with some of the same comedians appearing and hosted by Drew Carey, however the US version of the show sucked.

Anyway the show is an theatre sports style improvisation show with comedians acting out various provided (often by the audience) situations on the spot. I have to say this is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, probably helped by the fact it has some of my favourite comedians as regulars, Paul Merton and Stephen Fry.

I have been watching the tape I have of the show a bit last night and tonight and I have been laughing almost constantly. This truly is brilliantly entertaining, highly recommended. For more information there are some sites with more of it and of course something Wikipedia.

[/leisure/screen] link

Polaris for Dummies 2006 - 10:23
Marea and I once again teamed up for Polaris over the weekend just past. We had a good time, and proving that practice helps after three Polaris' as a team we won the mixed division this year and came 8th over all out of the 200 or so teams.

Anyway I put photos and a report of the 2006 Polaris event online.

[/mtb/events] link

Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race - 10:23
As mentioned a few times the report from Geoquest 2007 has been a while in coming, pretty much all involved in the team have now seen it and have no problems with it. In it are 99 photos, 5 videos and a fair chunk of text. We had fun and I am hoping to be back next year for more of it. Thanks to Bruce, Danealle, Craig and Brendan for racing and big thanks to Jane, Zoe and Jaymz for supporting. Also Gran and Jude were fun to have around the race.

Anyway for anyone who wants to have a look here is our report from the team Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race. Enjoy.

[/mtb/events] link

Why an online diary? - 10:23
Well everyone is doing one and I am a sheep. Or something. In reality in the lca crew we decided to run an agregator to collect all the online diaries from the crew that were for lca. So I guess I need an online diary thing.

[/various] link

What to do in Denver^WCairns when you're dead^Won holiday? - 10:23
On Saturday I am flying up to Cairns for a little over a week on holiday. While there I am competing in two mountain bike races the Herberton 8 Hour race in a team of 3 and the RRR Classic (details of both races can be found on the Cairns Mountain Bike Club website) on consecutive Sundays. I will be staying with friends, however apart from that I really have no idea what to do in Cairns for a week.

Dave and Julie were there recently and went on a Kayak trip, which was probably fun. This is the part of Australia where glass bottom boats are rather common, heck the Kayak/Canoe you really want up there is one of these transparent canoes I saw on BoingBoing the other day. Apart from the fact my arms may drop off 3 hours into any attempt to Kayak somewhere I have no planned something like that. Is a reef trip a good idea I wonder?

I will probably ride up to Port Douglas one day, maybe look for nice swimming rivers/holes/etc on the way up and down to stop off at. I will probably look for a bit more mountain biking while there or maybe a walk or some trail running. But I really have no idea what to do apart from read books on the beach (which could not be all bad I guess).

Anyone have suggestions?

[/leisure/holiday] link

Artists and analysing their music - 10:23
Mikal wondered if others had noticed how depressing the song Brick by Ben Folds Five is. Although I like Ben Folds Five, I can not say I had noticed this due to listening to the lyrics as a) I didn't really listen to the words so much, and b) I heard about the basis of this song to some extent before I gave the lyrics any thought. So I can say I know the lyrics are depressing, not that I had noticed.

I have not researched this to check my memory is correct, however Ben Folds has talked about this in interviews in the past. If my memory of these interviews is correct, the song was to some extent based on a harrowing experience he had when he was around 18-20. He and his partner at the time went through the process of having an abortion and all the emotions and the shit that happened around the event weighed heavily on him, this song is an outcome of the experiences surrounding that event.

However Ben Folds is to a large extent not alone among musical artists saying, on the whole, over analysing lyrics in his work is not what he intends or expects, many artists seem astounded by the amount of analysis that goes into lyrics they write, often according to them written simply for the rhyme, or to work with the song and containing no deeper meaning. The fans doing the analysis may of course argue the subconcious has other ideas, who knows.

[/leisure/music] link

Ghosts is over - 10:23
On the whole ghosts worked very well, and I believe helped the lca 2005 crew understand a lot more about wha gos into running this conference we have.

We had a rather large number of people at the ghosts session, I wonder if maybe this was a bad thing. It seemed a times we did not need quite so many people. One thing I noticed is the ghosts session was really for the new lca team to be able to learn from previous organising teams. Thinking about who was present I dont really see that we could have left many out. Maybe if the LA committee were not so strongly reccomended. For future ghosts I wonder if maybe just the LA president and Treasurer would be enough.

I suppose LA was strongly represented at the meeting due to the fact Rusty and Mikal are both on the committee and both lca people also, Michael Davies as the 2004 Lead organiser was necessary and also is on the LA committee. Mark Tearle was there from Perth but mostly there as the LA treasurer, we already have Tony Breeds on our lca crew from Perth. So looking a it this year the LA committee was almost all there by necessity, so bringing AfC and Stewart in for LA to meet afterwards kind of made sense.

The thing that strikes me is we had ~ 20 people in the meeting room all weekend, fortunately it worked well for us, we got through almost the entire agenda and people did not interrupt with out reason. However it just seems busy with that many people there. Also with the LA meeting at the end of the weekend before everyone flew out there was a bit of rushing and possibly some things left off the agenda or not discussed that should be. I think a large part of why the LA thing happened was due to the make up of who would already be there. I would be nice to be able to avoid that in the future for ghosts if possible I think.

I dont mean it as a criticism really as it did not impact heavily on us this weekend, more just something to think about for the future. As for the lca crew, we have a whole lot of new ideas stemming from this weekend, and some action items and the like. One thing that is very important is we need to be more active in getting the word out into the community and the pulic at large abotu this conference and what is happening. Time to send a lot of people email <g>

[/lca] link

Yell for Cadel, Australia's best ever XC mountain biker won the tour! - 10:23
I know it has been a few weeks, however I have not exactly been on a blogging rampage, what with having my first ever month of no entries here. However I should start writing again and this is something of note for sure. How exciting it is that Cadel Evans won the tour!

I have been a fan of Cadel for a while, I guess since reading mtb magazines through out the 90s and marshaling at the mtb National Championship races in Majura Pines in Canberra when he won the title here. That he won the MTB World Cup series for two years in a row, has also won the Road World Cup series two years running, won the Road World Champs and now the Tour de France it is fairly obvious to all he is the most complete successful cyclist Australia has ever produced.

I still remember watching him lead through some of the single track at Majura in 1997 from where I was marshaling, seeming to be riding on smooth pavement through sections I rattle and bounce over, sure it was a shame when he left mountain biking, I am after all a mountain biker at heart, but there were as we all know bigger achievements in his future, there is nothing in the mtb world that could possibly excite a nation the way he has the last few years.

For the entire tour this year Cadel and his team seemed to be well organised, know what they were doing and went about everything the right way. Leopard also dealt with the race well, thus as Andy Schleck has said it definitely seems the best rider did indeed win this year. The final time trial was an incredible hour of viewing, seeing Cadel so focused and confidant at the start and then he almost won the stage and blasted away everyone else. Of course seeing him get air on a time trial bike was pretty cool too.

I really hope this helps move Australian's recognition of bikes and cycling forward, the reception for Cadel in Melbourne on Friday was awesome, with St Kilda rd lined 5 deep on each side all the way along and then Federation square packed so full along with all of us watching who did not make it down. The media coverage across the board has been positive and pretty good. Now we can all hope for a repeat performance next year. Rock on Cadel.

[/mtb] link

Kind of no longer saturday - 10:23
So the first day of the ghosts session went well. Stewart missed his first flight to Canberra, Pia and Jeff ended up arriving this morning. Alli and Rusty were a few minutes late, but hey it took me a bit of time to set up the networking and power and such in the meeting room. We did not get through the entire agenda, but hey the discussion strayed as it is wont to do. On the whole the day went well, though looking through the minutes I was taking all day we have a large number of new action items.

[/lca] link

BOB United Flight - 10:23
The subject of the recent united airlines flight that was directed back to Sydney after taking off there due to a sick bag found on boad with "BOB" written on it came up at the pub talking with Martin Pool and some others. I mentioned another mtb rider I had met at a race recently had been on that flight. Niki Gudex was on that flight and wrote about the experience on her diary (with some photos of dumping fuel and such). Bruce Schneier covered this flight and the strangeness of it in a recent cryptogram.

[/various] link

Dreaming - 10:23
So I may not really be in the target market of tv broadcasters, after all I tend not to watch much tv. In this specific case, the Olympics coverage, I tend not to care for any of the summer Olympics. While the summer Olympics were on in Sydney in 2000, I was living in the Sydney and deliberately did not go to any events. I even went skiing at Perisher for a week of the Olympics to get away from the city.

However there was one thing at the Sydney Olympics that I was glued to whenever I was near a tv, the same thing happened for the Utah/Salt Lake City winter Olympics and then even for the Athens Olympics I did actually watch one thing on tv. So far I have not seen more than a minute or two of Olympics coverage on screen, when I have seen it on at a cafe or similar I have tuned in for a few seconds. So what is missing from the Olympics coverage this time?

Roy and HG with The Dream of course. This show added to the fun and humour of the Sydney Olympics. It increased the value of the Utah winter Olympics (I actually enjoy watching a fair amount of the winter Olympics) and it made the non stop coverage around the country of Athens more bearable. Maybe it is because Channel 7 spent so much money to get the rights for the Olympics they feel they can not make fun of the event. Maybe it is as is suggested in the article about the lack of the Dream, no studio audience due to Chinese security and crowd restrictions and the bad timezone issues make it unworkable for channel 7.

It is interesting to note there is a lot of criticism going around that this is the worst Olympics coverage in recent memory and most articles discussing this seem to note people are calling for the Dream to come back rather than the Yum Cha thing on each morning.

Fortunately though tv rights are taken there is nothing stopping Roy and HG commenting on the Olympics on the radio, which they are doing with aplomb on Triple J every afternoon. At least there is still some Australian piss taking going on, even if it is not live from Beijing. So I guess what I am saying, in my opinion at least, the lack of this show on the Olympics coverage means there is no reason to turn a tv on this month. I spoke to a few people at work and I hear a number of people with little interest in the Olympics have a similar view.

[/leisure/screen] link

More Mont awesomeness - 10:23

New and Old Zing Vests (fullsize)
By far one of my favourite pieces of clothing is my Mont Zing Vest, I bought my first back in March 2006, then it was shredded in a crash in April 2008, I had however bought a second vest at that point, in yellow. Most cycling vests have mesh backs, I dislike these as I wear my vest to paddle and a waterproof back is great paddling. Also for warmth year round in all manner of activities (running, rogaines, etc) the lack of mesh is a bonus I think.

Due to the fact I use the vest so often through the colder months it is often damp or wet when I want to use it (soaking from paddling to ride home in winter, or from wearing for a run to get home), thus I was keen to get a few more. Mont are a great company and Dave has been very nice to me in the past. They had run out of Zing vests in my size and I had been asking Dave when I would be able to buy two more for a while. He had some ready for the yearly sale that is on next week and told me to come visit. However he had only had yellow vests made, which I was keen to buy another one of, I was however hoping for some colour variety. Dave then offered to make a few out of whatever colour Hydronaute ultra they had in the factory. Sure it is not pink but I am definitely partial to purple too so I was excited to be able to get two brand new vests in purple.

Did the Ainslie run up at lunch today, was letting my HR creep above 180 and then remembered I should not be going too hard so backed it off to 176 or so for the rest of the run up. Still did 15:16 which I thought was alright.

[/mtb/gear] link

Caffeine and glycogen storage, maybe the roadies have it right - 10:23
There is an article in the Canberra Times today referring to a Melbourne study on some endurance cyclists measuring glycogen storage in muscles when caffeine is consumed immediately after a ride until exhaustion session.

The professor in charge of the study at RMIT is John Hawley, a google search turned up the article in question. It is quite a common practice among cyclists to head to a coffee shop after a ride, though most of us do not consume 6 cups of coffee and a loaf of bread, we do consume some food and coffee at these gatherings fairly often.

Good to see we can even claim the post ride coffee is part of our important training schedule and recovery plan.

[/mtb] link

Abel Tasman Kayaking - 10:23

Camping Observation Beach, Abel Tasman NP (fullsize)
Keith and I met up for a kayaking trip in Abel Tasman National Park when we were both in New Zealand. The photos are all up on my Abel Tasman Kayaking January 2010 Page

As Keith said this is something that should be on everyone's bucket list. An incredible area and some wonderful kayaking. We were thinking about it a fair bit and we both think there are other ways you can approach this trip that would be fun. Heidi told me there is an Abel Tasman marathon sometime in September, I am thinking that it would be a lot of fun to run up the track to the end in one day, get your gear dropped up there for camping along with a fast AR double kayak. The next day leave your gear there to be picked up and kayak back.

Otherwise we both think doing the track walk to the end and then kayaking back, or maybe walking in from the other end of the track and doing a remote park start for your kayak trip at Tonga Beach (this is the farthest north the rented kayaks will be dropped off) and paddle back to Marahau.

I had a lot of fun on the trip and the fact we did not have a nice fast kayak such as Matilda was not really a problem as we are on holiday and not trying to go fast or anything. I did miss Matilda a bit at times but I got over it.

[/mtb] link

Obscurity, P=NP etc, Hash Visualisation - 10:23
Three things I saw online today I feel like mentioning, first linked from Schneier's blog was an article about how lock making companies are still very much in the security through obscurity world and how lock geeks getting together online and at (computer) security conferences are breaking their obscure secrets open. An interesting read.

It is interesting to see some companies such as Kryptonite eventually reacted, others seem intent on denying public information, or trying to shut down people who know about it. In computing it is a well known fact (although still ignored by too many people/companies) that security through obscurity will not work, public design and analysis by experts in the field however does work and should be used for things that need to be secure. Although one aspect that comes to mind here is that in the case of locks you may not want to make them impossible as other attack vectors are then used. As the article mentions crooks seem to prefer using a hammer (or maybe explosives) over opening the locks through lock exploits. There were some discussions about this in the car that were I think linked to by Schneier a few years back.

Next was an interesting wikipedia page linked to by kottke, a list of unsolved problems from a number of different field, those listed in Computing are familiar, however looking through the collected information on those in other fields is pretty fascinating. Mmmmmm wikipedia goodness.

Catching up on some LWN reading and I see the mention of a new OpenSSH version approaching, in the list of new features is "Experimental SSH fingerprint visualisation" with a paper (pdf) linked. So I download and had a read of the paper, largely to see what sort of images they generate. It is good to see some work on what is one of the biggest security weaknesses out there, the humans using secure systems.

[/comp] link

Thu, 03 Nov 2011

The most awesome armwarmers ever - 10:21

Cycling Armwarmers do not get any better!
I happened to mention back in June how awesome the kids I coach mtb to are, as well as their really enjoying riding and getting into the sport and improving their handling skills. As a thanks for teaching them they had tracked down a Dr Seuss jersey and gave it to me.

This time they have trumped that effort, they all notice how much I love riding my pink race mtb and my pink gear, so check this out, they hand printed a design with all manner of coloured bikes on a set of arm warmers, and the pink one is the coolest bike there. Thanks to Callum, Zoe, Declan, Tristan and Jack, these are awesome I am showing them off on the mtb ride tomorrow morning for sure.

I have long lamented the fact that cycling arm warmers tend to be boring, they are usually black, sometimes a solid other colour. Not many come with interesting designs (except commercial team trade colours, which are colourful, but not something I find interesting to wear) so to have such a great design and something interesting and so cool is really touching.

[/mtb/gear] link

Fri, 28 Oct 2011

Lessons in sand groping - 19:13
I still did not quite manage to learn the proper technique to effectively grope sand. Though I guess I do begin to see why the term is used, there is quite a lot of sandy ground around Perth. From the ground near Curtin Uni where is is significantly cheaper to trench cables under the ground than you normally expect to the sand on any ground bare of grass in other parts of the city.

Some of the things I would like to do next tine I am across there given a chance are: Ride out to Freemantle for brunch on the north side of the river (down the western highway maybe for a while), visit the maritime museum in Freemantle, maybe lunch at the Little Creatures brewery. Getting away from Freemantle just riding around the river sides for a while looks pleasant. Maybe trying to find some good vegetarian specialty eating places would be good too. Though I really enjoyed the Mexican food at Santa Fe on Hay st last night as it was.

I managed to catch up with Jeremy which was good as his time at lca this year was cut a bit short. Also we caught up with Dave Mac, and though I thought he would be away for 6 months he will now be back in Canberra next weekend so CHOGM no longer needs him and he can return to AV at PH.

CHOGM did not impact us too much, sure a few closures we saw as we skirted the city and a bunch of CHOGM security zone signs around the place but not much else. Due to our bodies being on east coast time we started work this morning around 7am so got that day's work done here (on a public holiday for the locals) pretty early which was handy.

I took a few photos, one I liked has an TLA S.O.Y which probably should not be said aloud with kids in the vicinity, I was amused by the fact it sounded like the Seagulls may get all vegan on people (Soy, etc).

[/various] link

Wed, 26 Oct 2011

Groping Sand? - 18:34
So I find myself on a flight from Melbourne to Perth right now, heading across to Perth for the first time since 2003. This time I am heading over there for work for two days. Right in the middle of CHOGM which made finding accommodation and flights a challenge (fortunately I did not have to do that).

Michele and Rob will be over this weekend too for a family gathering, I will be home Friday night, still I was almost tempted to cheekily ask how we should go about groping sand while over there, is there some proper technique?

To practice this Perth thing I was happy to find Little Creatures Pale Ale on tap on Sunday when I was hanging out with COGS (Canberra One Gear Society) at Wilburs in Hackett. Who knows if Morgs and I are lucky we can catch up with Dave Mac tomorrow evening sometime and be able to sample some more of the local product.

Things to remember maybe, Qantas club membership Morgs had was helpful at Canberra, using the wireless to chase up some work and email while waiting for the delayed flight was a good thing. The flight to Melbourne was short, and they had fruit for us of a Vegan persuasion. Tempted to watch The Green Lantern movie (I am a comics geek after all) even though I am sure it will be woeful, maybe so I can at least criticise form a point of having seen it. (unlike The Titanic movie which I still refuse to see and continue to claim it is crap).

I hear from some Martin W that Perth has some very Nomad friendly riding too, maybe worth bringing a bike across on a future trip, you can ride something without much travel in the hills, but it is not recommended. He has contacts for the local club and trail fairies too which helps.

This is a bit of a meandering post I notice, in the end I did watch the Green Lantern movie. Surprisingly not as incredibly bad as I expected. Of course it was not as fantastic as the new Batman movies or anything. The climax was a little easy and short I thought after all the build up, however it was ambitious to show the Corps, and they actually came across in a similar manner to the comics at times. Anyway enough of this, I am writing this on Thursday morning now, time to find some wifi and if I want to actually say something rather than meander around write something new.

[/various] link

Sun, 02 Oct 2011

Googong multisport challenge 2011 - 21:15
Sri Chinmoy moved the event a few weeks earlier in the hopes that being further away from the Scott 24 hour mtb race and to no longer clash with the Upper Murray Challenge. I have also been making an effort to remind people how awesome this event is in the hopes of convincing more to come and compete.

Fortunately something worked as this year the largest field ever rocked up to the race on the shores of the 100% full Googong Dam at 10am on September 18. Compared with last year I was severely lacking in fitness, with no fast paddling whole year (and not much at all since Geoquest), not much running for a while and my bike strength feeling weak I was in it for the fun of the event and not expecting to do too well.

Results from the day are available, plus photos and an event report but once again I would like to say anyone who was not there missed out on a great event. The paddle was actually 10km for the first time ever which would have pushed out the event times, however not to the extent that I was 30 minutes slower this year than last year.

However the top three places put in an awesome race, Dave S was always likely to come away as the winner barring mishaps of the people there that day. Sean had a fantastic race I thought to make 2nd, and though I was in in 3rd until Seb caught me near the end of the bike (he was paddling something akin to a bathtub). I had obviously pushed too hard for my current fitness levels and began cramping on the second run on the first downhill (after needing to stop and puke a bit twice in the first run due to pushing my pace too hard). Still I loved the event and having a strong field there made it so much better. Thanks to all of those who were there to make it great.

Fortunately the Sri Chinmoy team have said they will be running it again so I hope to see this event continues to get more interest now, it is a great event in an area not many people go to visit and I am glad to see it will remain on the calendar. Oh and impressive effort from Aaron and Alex who both did the remarkably tough, steep bike leg on their single speed mtbs.

Libby seems to think the race should be held in Feb as a lead up to the Jindabyne multi sport, I personally disagree as I like having a reasonable spacing through the year of these events. Yerrabi in May, Jindabyne in March and this event in September is a pretty good gap and I am not convinced people would use it as a Jindabyne Multi training event (too short and intense for soloists to get great traing) and many of the teams are not really out there at Jindabyne for the speed/win so much as the experience.

[/mtb/events] link

Why does Ikea have such a draw on homemakers? - 19:08
So maybe I am not the target market as I do not own my own home or tend to decorate or buy stuff for the place I live, but I now wonder why Ikea is so incredibly crowded and popular?

I went there today with my sister as she has recently bought a place in Sydney and was looking for a few specific items for their new place. The amazing thing I find is I know a large number of people from Canberra who have made a weekend of coming to Sydney to buy some of their furniture and other items at Ikea.

Maybe I am coloured too much by my dislike of shopping, however Jane and Chris also are not big shopping fans, being in an enclosed mall surrounded by thousands of people throwing their money at the church of owning stuff almost made me feel ill. I know I avoid shopping as often as possible and really only rejoice in outdoor equipment shops and bike shops so I do not fit the target audience for a shopping mall, a shrine to consumerism.

Still after the hassle of driving to Rhodes, getting into the car park, getting through the mall crowds and in to Ikea the huge surprise was that seems to be the most crowded area in the mall. I guess it should not be so surprising, as mentioned I know people who travel from Canberra to buy there. Sure some of the stuff may be useful and there were a few examples of interesting furniture and other items to see, however the prices did not seem quite so amazing as I had been led to believe.

The thing I liked the most was the 35 metre square dwelling design they had on show, largely because I thought it was pretty cool to fit a fairly comfortable dwelling into such a small place, and there really should be more such places available to live in our Australian cities, though once more I run into the big problem I have in that there is not enough storage for outdoor equipment, 7 or so bikes, camping gear, backpacks, kayaking gear etc. I store my boats at the lake side, but all the other stuff has to go somewhere. If only 35 metre square dwellings were available in Canberra with a locked double car area for vehicle and gear as part of the deal, I may even be tempted to return to the pain and horror of Ikea to get European friendly small dwelling smart furniture.

I think all three of us were thankful to escape and have no intention of ever venturing inside again at the moment.

[/various] link

Sat, 01 Oct 2011

Try to remember what is normal - 21:28
At many times I really do need a reminder about what most of the population would consider kind of normal in the exercise realm. This became obvious over the last few months while reading the Canberra Times articles about the preparation for people training for the Canberra Times Fun run.

This is a stark reminder that to many people a 10KM run is a challenge and something they can not just go and do any given day. Another strong reminder of why my sister often tells me myself and the majority of my friends are freaks.

Sure I go around telling people I am not particularly fit, this is because of relative comparisons. I tend to compare myself to friends such as Dave and Julie, so obviously I am not that fit really. Friends that think it is normal to run a 100 KM ultra marathon then back it up two weeks later with a 24 hour rogaine. They have been known to head out for 84km training runs.

In the bike realm I hang around with the likes of Ben Henderson, Andrew Hall, Ed McDonald, and their ilk and am well aware they will beat the pants off me on the mtb or road bike. My friends and I will happily go do a 15 km Tuesday evening training run at faster than 5 minute km pace chatting away with hills and bush in the dark. This is normal behaviour for us. Same goes for riding, a 70 km road ride before work of a morning or 2 hours on the mtb is not strange.

I remember thinking at Dave's bucks party a few years back there was no one in the room who would not be able to do a 100km mtb event in under 7 hours or a marathon in under 4 (or both for most of them). Now I admit I do a lot of exercise, and a large part of it is I love having fun outdoors, and the further you can go the more of the outdoors you can fit into limited time. I like being able to have some friend suggest some trip or event and know I will be able to say sounds good let's go do it. And I will be able to do this activity and get through it with confidence and not find it too hard.

These activities include things like: the 320km Jindabyne to Jindabyne loop via Khancoban and Adaminaby, riding to the top of Mt Kosci in two days from Canberra off road (camping overnight in the bush), 48 hour adventure races, 360km non stop mtb races, 100 km ultra marathon in pairs (half each).

Though I run a lot more now than I did around 6 years ago I have been reasonably fit since I got into cycling seriously at the age of 12 or so, thus I would never think it impossible to head out for a 10 km run. Nowdays I would not even consider it particularly difficult to decide to compete in a 25 km run tomorrow with no specific preparation. Thus it really is a wake up call to see these multi-month training schedules to get people to complete a 10 KM fun run.

A previous housemate who had been running a lot (more than I do) had competed in the bush capital marathon (and did very well), so decided to enter the Fitzroy Falls marathon, however a week after that he had also entered his first ever 100 km mtb event and the following week was heading to Tasmania for a 4 day bush walk. To me this sounded like lots of fun and I said he should go ahead and enjoy it. He claimed I was the only friend he had that did not think it all rather over the top. Again it reminded me how different so many of my friends are as many of them regularly do similar series of weekends.

Last year one of my sister's friends had spent a while trying to convince her to compete with her in a 5 km run, however Jane was convinced she would not survive the event and instead suggested a triathlon in a team so she would only have to do the swim legs (a sport she does at her local pool often), (I thought otherwise about her ability to complete a 5 km run, but I have to remember I filter these things differently). I think it a laudable goal to do a triathlon in a team, I have never competed in a triathlon by myself either.

It is a huge wake up call to be reminded that most of the population would struggle to do a 10km run without a fair amount of preparation and would struggle with a reasonably paced 30km ride around the lake or similar. I was interested to hear from a friend in Adelaide recently who took his 8 year old son for a running race, 6 km, the first time his son had raced more than a 2km event at school sports or similar. And from the sounds of it they both had a great time doing this together. It is good to see the children of some of my friends who fit into the similar fitness category to me as they grow up surrounded by people who consider this normal.

Susie and Phillo's kids will grow up thinking 24 hour rogaine events and marathon runs are what everyone's parents do and probably emulate their parents to some extent, I already see Sam and Ben's daughters doing so much cool stuff, such as CORC Dirt Crit events from the age of two and a half to family fun runs, or multi day hikes though Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand. I do however have to remind myself often, not everyone is like myself and so many of my friends, it is a bit like when university educated people so often only hang around with others with similar backgrounds and then are shocked at the sentiments coming from people who have a completely different life and background.

It is worth remembering to celebrate the Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations of the people out there (to use a Star Trek term, IDIC) even when it is surprising to us.

[/mtb] link

Mon, 27 Jun 2011

The Cat In The Hat - 15:07

Front of the jersey (fullsize)

Back of the jersey (fullsize)
I obviously am teaching the most awesome group of junior mountain bikers around. Three of my students had noticed my love of interesting and fun jerseys in the months I was teaching them and for my instruction efforts they gave me this wonderful gift. A Dr Seusss cycling jersey, what a truly awesome gift. Thanks Declan, Zoe and Callum. Hopefully your mountain bike skills continue to improve and you continue to love riding your bikes, it is all about having fun on bikes.

[/mtb/gear] link

Sat, 25 Jun 2011

Another (less drastic) health scare - 22:47
Fortunately not quite as far out of it or unresponsive as the September 2008 scare however I did have another incident today. Thinking about it in hindsight I can definitely see what I did wrong and some of the things to think more carefully about.

This morning I had the junior mtb skills class I have been instructing, during the class I felt early on my sugar level was a bit high post breakfast and for some reason kept focusing on that for the following hours. However upon finishing the class I did start showing many of the signs of low blood sugar (I think I even commented to one of the parents or to Matt that I thought I had low blood sugar), yet I did not eat anything as I still had in the back of my mind the idea I was high.

I then rode back toward home via Dickson, stopped in at Maladjusted to say hi to Mal if he was there, he was not and the last thing I really remember is sort of making my way out of the shop and thinking maybe I would have a coffee and cake at my rainbow dreams. The next thing I remember is regaining a good level of conscious thought on the grass next to the shell service station with an Ambulance parked next to me and Ambulance officers looking after me making me eat sugary things. They did not have to inject sugar into me so I was obviously responding enough they could make me eat and consume sugary substances.

It seems I rode out of Mals and somehow wobbled through to there, my guess is I fell off and someone kindly rang for an Ambulance when they saw me there. The ambulance station is at Dickson so I imagine the response was fairly fast. This was at about 1pm and I was in at Mals around 12:30pm I think. With enough sugary stuff consumed I quickly got back to a good enough state that I could make my way home. I also went into Mals and asked if they could tell me about my behaviour, they had been trying to convince me to eat and were worried so I was obviously somewhat out of it and vague.

The big lesson here was I remember noticing many of the signs of low blood sugar however I continued to ignore them as I had it stuck in my head my sugar level was high from previous signs close to breakfast. I should remember to pay attention at all times and not ignore current signs. Especially under exercise conditions I am well aware sugar levels can change quickly and I was not paying enough attention to that fact. I am lucky I did not hurt myself or come off the bike in traffic and also lucky someone noticed pretty quickly something was wrong and called for an ambulance.

[/various] link

Fri, 24 Jun 2011

Making a change - 13:46
Not leaving Canberra or anything quite that drastic, however I am changing jobs. After 10 years of fun in my role as a professional geek (programmer/sys admin) for the School of Computer Science at ANU I am moving on. I have had a great time working at ANU with a lot of good people such as Bob and getting the chance to work with all manner of Linux technology and interesting computing projects. Lots of smart and interesting people to interact with both in my School and elsewhere on campus and the campus itself has been a cool place to be.

However I have for a while been wondering if I should look into a change to see what other interesting roles are out there for work. Recently a role for a professional geek appeared at the Australian Sports Commission Bruce Campus (AIS) that looked like it could be interesting, so I applied for the position and after interviews was offered it. I am looking forward to being able to use my IT expertise in the betterment of sports for the nation and it looks like there will be some good projects in the area at the new job. I am not sure how I feel about leaving the ANU but I like the idea of a new challenge and seeing how I deal in a new environment with new people once again.

[/various] link

Thu, 02 Jun 2011

A surprising lapse in recognition - 15:15
I was surprised and entertained by this happening last week, I had a massive failure of recognition while watching a movie. I guess it stems from a similar problem I had with an Ani concert here in early 2009. Ani had not toured Australia for a really long time previously and I had stopped regularly checking her tour schedule (almost giving up hope that she would tour). When at Christmas 2008 my sister presented me with tickets to go see an Ani concert I was both grateful and amazed, somehow my favourite artist had snuck in an Australian tour I had failed to notice coming up.

So to point out why I had such a complete failure in recognition at the movies the other night I should provide some history. Since 1992 or so (when Lethal Weapon 3 was released, then the following year with In the Line of Fire and various following movies) I have been a huge Rene Russo fan. However I knew she had not acted in a movie since 2005 so was not really expecting to see her in any movie coming out in 2011. Thus sitting watching the Kenneth Brannagh does super heroes movie Thor last week I kept staring at the Queen. Thinking wow she is gorgeous, completely eclipsing Natalie Portman in the movie even playing a somewhat small role. However I kept trying to work out who it was, thinking it looks like Rene but assuming there was no chance it was her. Thus when the credits rolled and I saw I really had failed in recognition I was impressed and happy to see her back on screen.

There is an entertaining 3 part interview (part 1 here) on Jimmy Kimmel Live (a US talk show) talking about Thor, working with Brannagh, never watching her own movies and other stuff. (Fuck It Fuck It Fuck It, way to go Hopkins)

[/leisure/screen] link

Thu, 26 May 2011

The Annual May Zombie Post - 12:43
The month of May, must be time for a Zombie post. It is good (or hell funny, you choose) to see large organisations or other institutions getting more prepared and scientific about Zombies. Just this month the US Centers for Disease Control released their Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Guide, I wonder if other countries have their information for citizens prepared.

The other thing to note is there is it seems increasing research happening in various institutions about Zombies. The Smithsonian has a good round up of some of the recent zombie research appearing in the field. That should do me until May next year, unless the Zombies get me (due to my lack of preparedness).

[/various] link

Wed, 25 May 2011

Dundeeism applied to running - 11:57
I should of course preface this with the statement that I think it is great to see anyone getting out and exercising and I should not belittle any efforts towards that. Also as always I make no claims to being a runner. (quite the opposite)

I was at a physio the other week trying to get an injury that had appeared better before the north face and overheard something that had me privately grinning. Another physio at the practice asked their client if they did any sport. The client said they were a bit of a runner. When asked what sort of runs they did the client said they would do a 3 to 5 km run occasionally.

This amused me, I had this image of someone like Julie, David, Davo, Gramps, Flan, etc doing a Mick Dundee sort of thing, "That's not a run, this is a run!" with a 6 foot track, TNF100, or 10 hour training run sort of display. The whole problem with the image is that all these people are far too modest (which sort of increased the humour of the image I had in my head I guess).

Yet another example of applying Crocodile Dundee to every day experiences to provide humour.

[/amusing] link

Tue, 24 May 2011

24 Hour Solo MTB Championships 2011 - 12:19

Andrew Hall finishing a lap (fullsize)
If you have a look at the link to my 24 Hour Solo MTB Nationals photos page you can see the photos I took at the 24 Hour MTB Nationals CORC ran in April.

[/mtb/events] link

SLER Photos - 11:53

Climbing past Thredbo (fullsize)
I finally uploaded the few photos I took back in Feb when a few of us went up to Jindabyne to do the SLER loop, find them here.

[/mtb] link

Tue, 17 May 2011

TNF100 in pairs, what was I thinking? - 16:32

Running along Narrow Neck (fullsize)
Aaron and I headed up to the Blue Mountains on the weekend to compete in The North Face 100 Ultra Marathon in pairs this year. Julie won womens, awesome race against an international field (and beat her own race record by 36 minutes). David knocked 20 minutes off his PB too. The Blue Mountains were rather pretty so I took some photos and wrote about it here.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 06 Apr 2011

Connection limiting in Apache2 - 16:01
Yesterday I noticed a machine I look after had been getting some form of DOS or similar against it. There are iso images (700 MB files) on the server and there had been a few hundred thousand download requests from different ip addresses to it via the web server.

Looking at the logs it was interesting to note the User-Agent was identical for each request even though it was coming from so many different ip addresses. So I had the situation of needing to limit connections to a certain type of file or an area on disk via apache so as not to have resource starvation and no download blow outs.

Looking around for ways to do this in apache2 there was not a whole lot of options already implemented, some per ip connection limits in one module, some rate limiting in another module, but no way to limit connections to a given Directory, Vhost or Location immediately turned up. Fortunately a few different searches eventually turned up the libapache2-mod-bw package in Debian.

As it says in the package description

This module allows you to limit bandwidth usage on every virtual host
or directory or to restrict the number of simultaneous connections.
This was the solution it seemed, so I read the documentation in the text file in the package, enabled it on the server and got it working.

To get it working pay attention to the bit that says ExtendedStatus needs to be enabled before the LoadModule line. Then you can simply place it in a Directory section in your main config file for a given vhost.

I configured it with the following section

ForceBandWidthModule On
BandWidthModule On

<Directory "/on/disk/location">
	BandWidth "u:BLAHBLAH" 200
	BandWidth all 2000000
	MaxConnection "u:BLAHBLAH" 1
	MaxConnection all 10
Which says if the user agent has the string "BLAHBLAH" in it anywhere limit to 200 bytes per second and later 1 connection allowed from that user agent to this directory. I thought it worth while to put in a limit on all connections to the directory of 10 just in case the user agent changes and it will not starve the machine or max out the link.

Initially I had the limit of 10 without limiting the user agent more and the DOS was simply using up all 10 and thus no one else could connect to and download these items. Fortunately so far this seems to be working and I can monitor it for a few days to see the resultant behaviour of the attack.

Thanks to the module author this seems to work fairly well and was easier than writing a mechanism inside apache2 myself to limit the connections in the manner required.

[/comp/linux] link

Found in the oven - 11:14

Cupcakes and Bread (fullsize)
I was worried last week I may need to buy bread, I had not done that since early December. My wrist was sore enough from paddling that kneading bread dough seemed to make it worse. In the end I just made bread anyway and thus have still not bought any since December.

Last night I managed to pull the loaf of bread and 24 apple cupcakes pictured out of the oven, all of which is yummy and vegan friendly. I had already tucked into the bread by the time I took that photo.

[/leisure/food] link

Tue, 05 Apr 2011

What is this key for? - 15:21

Draw Bridge Key (fullsize)
Recently we have looked through a bunch of the keys hanging around parts of the house and tried to sort out what they are all for. One of the keys we found is pictured below. I am sure it would be useful if only we could find the moat around the house.

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Mon, 04 Apr 2011

ACTRA Multisport Rogaine 2011 - 16:24
Aaron and I did the ACTRA Multisport Rogaine yesterday and here are some photos.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 23 Mar 2011

Jindabyne Multisport Classic 2011 - 16:15
The event site is here with results a race report and photos.

I rocked up to compete in the Jindabyne Multisport Classic as a solo athlete for the fourth year in a row. This is probably my favourite race on the calendar, a gorgeous area to race through, really fun legs and a good attitude out on the course from everyone there.

In the lead up this year I have been unable to do much training from January 10 until the race day, with an injury and illness keeping me away from exercising much for 3 months I was definitely a bit underdone for the race.

All along I had ben hoping there would be a really strong solo field again, with the likes of Alex, David, Julie, Randall, Gary Rolfe, Aaron, Lee, Gary Rake, Ben Rattray all competing as solos. However for various reasons the only solos I knew who were competing ended up being Aaron, Lee and myself.

At the start line I was not looking forward to the swims, most years I have had a few months of doing at least 2 or 3 swims a week, this time I had swum twice since January 3rd and maybe 8 times since this race in March the previous year. I defintiely have to stay in the pool and put some serious time in to my swimming if I ever want to do this event really well.

1 Solo Female and 5 solo Men were at the start line, all of us obviously hoping to complete the day and have fun. Race start was 6:45am so we got going and I gave everyone entertainment or a cringe when I immediately went off in the wrong direction sighting on the wrong saddle in the distance while everyone else swam toward the first bouy. This was definitely a theme for me, going all over the place in the swims, in the end I lost 10 minutes or more to Aaron each time we did a swim through the day.

The first kayak following the swim is always a good leg to get settled in to the day and get used to the continuous moverment all day. This year my friend Kerrie (ENM as Gramps calls her, I think Awesome Nurse Muir is more accurate) had once again sepped up to the role of support crew for me, thanks to her for being an absolutely awesome support crew again this year, organised and keeping me moving well all day. She had me through al the transitions smoothly and encouraged me to keep going well.

Lee was unlucky enough to fall out of his kayak in this leg and I passed him there, the SES boats were both in the final 800 metres of the kayak so had not seen him fall out, I yelled at one of them to go have a look, in the end Lee said a fisherman helped him get to shore to empty the boat before continuing on. On to the run, which has less climbing and stays closer to the lake than the old first run I was soon passed by Sal and a few other fast runners on teams (I was already well behind the really fast teams due to my pathetic swimming)

The first run leg is still quite technical and a lot of fun, and it leads in to what in my opinion is the best leg of the day, the first mtb leg is rearkably technical and suits me down to a tee, if only it were 30 km long rather than 8km. There had been a lot of track work done on the trails here and the return leg of this ride toward transition had been improved a lot, easier and shorter but a heck of a lot of fun. I saw Aaron at the shared section of track so he already had a 15 minute lead on me here, due to my complete lack of preparation I expected this theme to continue for the rest of the day, he was racing well for a first time soloist here.

On into the second swim, the worst leg of the day (2.5km of swimming) I labored through that getting passed by a whole lot more teams and caught again by Sharon the solo female, however into the paddle I was able to move fairly fast again. Through the paddle I headed out on the second mtb leg, hoping to get some food down, a problem with my water meant I could not get much down for the leg however still felt pretty good on the whole. I saw Aaron again now with around a 23 minute lead on me.

Through the day I was fairly close to the teams Desciples of Ming the Merciless and Followers of Ming the Merciless, some of the children of the team members are those I coach mtb skills every week and they were cheering me through every transition all day which was awesome support from them and lifted my spirits. I got on to the long run feeling alright, stopped for my normal toilet visit at the thredbo river picnic ground to ligten my load for the climb and headed on up the hill.

During the climb two women from teams caught me up and Lee also managed to catch up, I picked my pace up a bit to stay near them, Lee however had not bought any water or food on this leg and suffered mightily for it, so ended up dropping off the pace ocne we hit the waterfall at the top. I thanked the women for their company as I had to stop to stretch out cramps near the end of the leg and then ran in toward the transition for the long bike leg.

Most years this leg is one of the most spectacular parts of the race, up into alpine grass lands near the Gungarlin river, however due to the river being too full and boggy terrain near it they had to change the leg to a ride up the road from Sawpit to Charlotte Pass before a car shuttle down to the lake again at Creel bay. This changed the dynamic of the race a lot, I appreciated the rest in the car and sitting at the swim start for an hour, however I missed the lovely long mtb leg. I was able to eat some solid food again and watched Aaron do his swim leg before I started. Some friends lined up someone to kayak next to me for this swim to keep me going straight, thanks to Tara and Michael for all of that.

The last few years the final kayak has been very windy, almost a case of surfing or crossing large waves for much of the 9.5km paddle. I borrowed Mark's surf ski for this leg rather than my Time Bandit, it was still windy up near Charlotte Pass so I assumed it would be windy ont he lake. As it turns out this is the calmest I have seen the water in years at this time of day, however better safe than sorry, I completed this leg in around an hour and only had the 5.5km run to finish off the day. I got moving and immediately felt my core muscles in pain with the jarring of running. Amazingly my legs felt fine but I could not pick up the pace due to the pain from the final paddle and swim in my core muscles.

Still I had at least 30 minutes on Lee in third and knew Aaron would already be finished so I settled in and tried to finish as fast as I could without too much jarring. Just as I neared the finish, Zoe, Declan and all the other kids that had been cheering me on saw me and rode and ran in next to me to the finish which was another awesome show of support from them. Finished in just under 12 hours, or just under 11 if you take off the hour enforced stop before the final swim.

Thanks to Kerrie for being awesome and supporting me, thanks to everyone who helped Kerrie out through the day. Thanks to Aaron and Lee for the race and thanks to Prachar and the rest of the Sri Chinmoy race team for this event, such a lovely course and such a fun day out. Easier and prettier than triple tri and less swimming, all good things.

Good to see a strong performance from Sharon the solo woman coming in around 15 minutes behind Lee too.

You should all put this race on your calendar nex year, it will be the weekend before the 6 foot track marathon and probably not clash with Huskisson or the Willo MTB race either. Fun to be had up in Jindabyne in early march 2012.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 08 Mar 2011

Buy known good quality, or avoid RavX at least - 18:00

Crappy RavX Gloves (fullsize)
So a few weeks ago I decided to buy some new gloves, though not worn out some of mine were getting a bit old and rank. Also they tend to have no padding profile and work fine for mtb but I tend to think some padding helps on the road bike. I order some Serfas gloves from one shop, but they have still not appeared after a month at this point.

So while waiting for the Serfas and in need of some gloves the other week I purchased the pictured RavX gloves. They were cheap, and I think I found out why, I can not say much apart from do not buy these ever. The padding worked fine, however when I took this photo I had done 3 rides wearing them. One on the shopping/touring mtb to the fyshwick markets and back, around 20km. The next two were road rides, a cotter/uriarra loop and a climb from Jindabyne to Dead Horse Gap and back, so around 145km on the road bike. It is hard to see here, but looking at the enlarged photo I have circled the 4 places on the right glove and 1 place on the left glove that have already worn through or show serious wear signs (about to wear through). That both of the gloves have worn through the palm in less than 200 km of pretty tame riding is pathetic.

I have quite a few pair of cycling gloves, some of which have done over 2000km of fairly tough mtb riding and a lot of other riding in between, I have never seen a glove fail this fast.

[/mtb/gear] link

Fri, 04 Mar 2011

Another attempt at the SLER - 10:28
Back in 2004 a few of us headed up to Jindabyne to do what we were calling at the time the Silly Long Easter Ride, this is a 318km road ride in the Australian Alps region with over 6000m of climbing. It has been done by quite a few people since that time in two days, however only a few I knew had done the ride in one day (Davo, Ads, DeathMarch).

I have been keen to go back for a while, so Alex, Bleeksie, Greg, Chris and I were planning to do the ride last weekend. We headed up there and stayed at the Snowgums Jindabyne unit. I had the problem of a sore throat for two and a half weeks leading up to the weekend and was simply hoping it would get better by the time we were there to do the ride. Unfortunately the sore throat deteriorated into a cold and I tried to start the ride. As we did the first few climbs up toward Thredbo I realised I was not going to be able to continue all the way. At what was a fairly easy pace I was falling behind trying to conserve myself, once I made the decision to pull out rather than do the entire loop I started wasting myself a bit more to keep up all the way to Dead Horse Gap.

I want to do this ride so hope to return later in the year or next year and gt it done. Once I left the others I returned to Jindabyne, bought a newspaper and rested for most of the rest of the day. Slept for a few hours, read the paper and waited for the others to finish the ride.

After having some of the pies from Funky Pies from 42 Cafe in Nimitabel in December I was keen to have some more, I had not gone to the Canberra stockists. However I noticed on the funky pies website that the Jindabyne Bowling club sells them, so I headed there for some lunch. Vegan pies with a good variety, what could possibly be bad about that. It turns out they no longer stocked them, however there were a few left in the freezer so the chef prepared them for me, a little old and dry, however still tasty I was happy with that for lunch.

As for the ride, the guys hit Khancoban around 10am, Cabramurra by 2pm and Adaminaby before the bakery shut. Chris had started to pull away as his gearing made it difficult to climb slowly. Chris finished the ride by 8:10pm and the others pulled in at 9pm after a 5am start. Good to see, solid riding effort, I was jealous but with the Jindabyne Multisport classic 2 weeks later I did not want to make myself even sicker and possibly be unable to compete.

[/mtb] link

Fri, 25 Feb 2011

The Waifs live - 11:59
I was able to go out and see The Waifs live show at the Canberra Theatre last night. They still play together really well, play off each others strengths well and seem to be enjoying their time on stage a lot which was great to see. The Audience of course really got into the few classic songs they played. The new album content was interesting, I think I will need to buy it and have a listen for a while to see if it grows on me (being released on March 4).

Vicki performed an awesome version of Sun, Dirt, Water with just her and the upright bass player on stage. Josh took the lead in some of the new material with a kind of gospel bent. Throughout the gig I thought Donna's voice often seemed to be overpowering the rest but it did not sound that strong during her songs. Still an excellent night of live music, such a shame we do not get to see them more often in Australia now (like we used to when they were at the national every year or other similar appearances). They celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Waifs next year which is pretty impressive just to think about.

[/leisure/music] link

Tue, 22 Feb 2011

Egos Like Hairdos at another AROC sprint - 15:50
Thanks to Ian and Aaron I was able to have another fun reasonably fast race in the recent AROC Sprint at Stromlo and the Cotter. I of course had a camera with me and took a bunch of photos. They can be found in the normal place.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 16 Feb 2011

Olive Clips - 20:02
I was trying to find the correct name of the pink clips on the end of the Q-Spear rack bungee cords the other day. I got as far as "shock cord clips" but still was not getting too many results. I have a few purple clips I use on bike tow systems I bought at the Marine shop in Woden years ago, however the shop has since closed.

Fortunately one of my friends discovered they are called "Olive Clips" in Australia and are somewhat readily available at boating supply stores around the place.

[/mtb/gear] link

Sat, 05 Feb 2011

New toy - A netbook with great battery life - 15:43
Before heading up to a few weeks ago I was thinking about the need to be able to keep using my laptop all day at the conference. The battery in my XPS M1330 simply does not last that long. Also commuting in the Brisbane heat carrying that, and a power adapter along with the other stuff needed into the conference every day seemed like overkill.

I have been reading about various netbooks for a while, and finally I realised I have a good laptop for the things I need a laptop for provided by work. However when travelling it is handy to have something less important and expensive, with better battery life. Everything else can be easily dealt with. The Samsung series of netbooks regularly had the best battery life mentioned in reviews, so looking at the models in stock at JB Hifi the NF 210 was claimed (by Samsung) to have 14 hours. Most Linux reviewers of it seemed to suggest 8 to 10 hours was the norm. So I headed over to buy one.

For AUD $437 I got a 1 GB RAM, 250 GB hdd, Atom N445 dual thread (I think) netbook with a 1024x600 screen and a huge battery life with the 6 cell battery it came with. At lca I was able to leave the (rather minimalist) power adapter where I was staying and just take the netbook, it easily lasted the whole day open during all talks and using wireless the whole time plus some other usage.

Gnome power battery status suggests 12 hours from 100% charge with the screen on minimum brightness, right now I am typing this outdoors with the screen at 50% the battery is at 50% and the report suggests 5 hours remaining. I installed a standard Debian Squeeze netinst install off a usb stick and downloaded an identical set of packages (almost) to those on my laptop, no need for a restricted environment as it is a fairly powerful computer anyway. Pretty much everything has worked well under Linux, the only slight complication was the need for a ppa samsung-backlight deb to control the backlight from the keyboard. The backlight seems to go dim on no use even when those options are not selected in gnome power manager so also something that could be investigated.

Also Paulus bought one and had a few problems with it freezing due to the closed wireless firmware on resume from suspend it seemed. I have had one lockup (possibly related) but it has not been a problem. The wireless driver does need to be reloaded on resume from suspend before it works (easy to do) but that is something I may be keen to look into at some point. I should not be surprised though how easy it was to have a capable working Linux system, that is often the norm with hardware these days (especially with much better/broader driver support than any other operating system).

For getting around the place some light work (compiling, interpreters, emacs, web browser, etc) it is a capable system and not lacking. I am a happy purchaser, even though my first one had to be returned within three hours of purchase due to a failed hard disk, since then it has been excellent.

[/comp/hardware] link

Mon, 31 Jan 2011

Going to the theatre during lca in Brisbane, keeping up the tradition - 16:11
Keeping a Brisbane tradition (I have now done this twice, so obviously a tradition at lca in Brisbane) of theatre while at lca. I went and saw I love you, you're perfect, now change at the Brisbane arts theatre with Matt and Amanda. I saw the Maria Callas based show Master Class in 2002 with Martijn after missing it in Canberra

The show was largely very good, however I thought the first half was much stronger and more entertaining than the post intermission stuff. Also the US American bent and style was a little too much, it seemed it would have been easy to modify it in a few places to make it Australian and retain the humour and subject matter of the play accurately.

Still an immensely fun musical. Interesting to see the theatre has performed the Terry Pratchett adaption play Maskerade previously and in October/November this year will perform Monstrous Regiment which could be worth the visit to see.

[/leisure/theatre] link

Thu, 27 Jan 2011

Brisbane cafes, start here maybe? - 18:25
So with a bit of free time between the end of the sessions today and the beginning of the conference dinner I decided to go looking for a cafe for a good coffee and maybe some other food. My criteria was vegetarian friendly, and I started looking around the west end as I had heard there was a good scene there.

Due to that I am now having a Monteith's Crushed Pear cider, soy mocha and vegan raspberry cheese cake at The Forest Cafe on Boundary Rd. The food and coffee I am trying is pretty good, I should try their other food some time later in the trip if I can, maybe Saturday sometime.

Tomorrow morning I will have breakfast out (to keep up with my normal Friday morning tradition), with MRD, Mikal and Crash here in the west end somewhere before heading in to QUT.

[/leisure/food] link

Mon, 24 Jan 2011

lca2013 in Canberra? - 14:39
As Mikal says there is a crew of people in Canberra keen to host again in 2013. We have a bid pretty much ready to send to LA and quite a good group of people are involved. Mikal is pushing the whole process along, though I did that last time I am rather happy to leave it up to him this time and help out as part of the team where I can. Remarkably quite a few of the people involved this time were there last time too, hopefully we get to promote Linux and Open Source in the centenary year of Canberra by holding again in 2013.

[/lca] link

Servers and Graphics cards - 13:18
Sitting in the Matthew Garret talk about enterprise power management, good talk. Some interesting stuff (disks, get rid of anything that spins and replace it with solid state if you care about low power). Anyway he mentioned the one place where server hardware is with GPU power management. This reminded me of the rather amusing case of the Graphics on the Power 5 machines at ANU. They were delivered with two (at the time) rather lovely 21" very high resolution (1920x1600 I think) LCD displays. However the graphics card is on a different bus internally and Linux is unable to drive them properly from the LPARs.

This is rather lovely server level hardware and the easiest way to do a graphical display of what is going on on the different LPARs was to connect a separate Linux box to display to the delivered LCD displays. Or get Anton to do some magic as he was the only person who had been able to get the hardware to display with X under Linux. So I definitely understand what he means when he says server hardware does not have much need for the graphical display stuff to work well.

[/lca] link

Wed, 19 Jan 2011

Wetlands development cycle access problems - 17:14
Some new wetlands appeared behind O'Connor shops (near where I live) a few years ago. The ACT Government and various community groups obviously liked them enough that they are spreading. Development near the Banksia St tennis courts in O'Connor blocked and then changed cycle access off the bike path to Banksia st for a while to develop the wetlands there.

The interruption was not too annoying as it left the bike path in place and open for the entire development time of the wetlands, also the access to Banksia st toward Lyneham shops from the bike path there was never really a high traffic cycle destination so did not really interrupt cycle access (and now with the changed paths around the wetlands still has little problems). However the two latest developments in this wetland spread are not so easily ignored.

There is some discussion on abc and riot act about the new Lyneham wetlands near the high school and the Dickson wetlands near the Dickson ovals, The environment ACT site about this is also of some interest to view. So the plans look pretty and cycle access will be fine and dandy in both locations once construction is finished. However my big complaint is that they seem to have completely ignored cycle access and safety during the construction.

Dickson is not the worst, it at least has some crossing points and gravel laid on the ovals to make cycling possible away from roads and traffic, not optimal but it will do I think. However the diversion at Goodwin St in Lyneham during construction is dangerous, adds a lot of time and is serious inconvenient. This is one of the highest use cycle paths in the inner north of Canberra and the diversion suggested during construction is to cross Goodwin st twice and go well out of your way on the path toward Gungahlin before diverting back toward Dickson past Lyneham High. This may not negatively impact too many high school students as they can go along that diversion. However any access between ANU/O'Connor area and Dickson shops via bike path is a mess now.

The quick way to go is simply to stay on Goodwin st, which unfortunately means mixing it up with traffic a lot of the time. I notice construction workers parking along the verge there often on the drain side of Goodwin St, however the best access compromise during construction here would be if they made a separate dedicated cycle lane for two way cycle traffic along that side of the road there. If it had only been a 1 month interruption to cycle access we could deal with it, however the slated finish date is June 2011, 7 months of this dangerous diversion onto Goodwin st, or extra distance and two crossings of Goodwin st is annoying.

[/various] link

Tue, 18 Jan 2011

Withdrawl - 17:39
I do not know how people who do not exercise often can manage it. Of course this may have a lot more to do with my exercise addiction than I am willing to admit. Monday last week I had to go to the doctor to get a rather uncomfortable thing on the outside of my glute looked at and fixed. She ended up digging around with a scalpel and cleaning it all up. However the upshot of that is I ave been unable to do any exercise (cycling, running, paddling in order to avoid aggravating the wound and slowing healing, swimming to avoid infection) since Monday afternoon last week.

I did ride back to ANU from Belconnen after the work was done, but that hurt quite a bit and the Doctor was not amused. Since then I have not done much. I was able to ride to Fyshwick markets for shopping on Sunday and it only hurt a little bit. Now the wick has been taken out it seems to hurt less most days. I still can not sit on it but cycling seems to be getting better. Tomorrow I intend to do the morning road ride in an easy group and then ride to Belconnen for my next doctor/nurse appointment for a new dressing so hopefully that will not hurt.

I know I have been told that moving too much/vigorously may slow healing, however I really need to do something energetic and I like to think the same applies as with some other healing I have had to go through in the past, so long as it is not hurting it is probably not too bad for it and exercise is good for you so get out there and have fun.

The past few months I have tended to around 4 hours intense exercise on Tuesdays, more than 1 hour on Monday and Wednesday, around 2 or 3 hours on Thursday and usually about 1 hour of hard exercise plus the morning mtb ride on Friday. Going from my normal pattern to nothing is definitely quite challenging, hope to do something about that and see how it feels lets hope I can get back into it.

[/mtb] link

Mon, 17 Jan 2011

Things to look forward to at lca? - 15:31
So anyone in the community will be aware that 2011 begins next week on Monday and runs until Saturday with the open day concluding the conference then. As always I look forward to being at the best Linux and general open source conference in the world. What specific things are there to look forward to?

I guess Sunday getting to catch up with other lca Ghosts and the new Ghosts (Wellington crew that make it across) should be a fun intro to the week. Then Monday morning we get to the mini confs, I am most interested in the Open Programming and Southern Plumbers mini confs that day. Perl with Schwern should be awesome to start. Daniel Stone talking about some of the X Input stuff after lunch sounds pretty interesting, though Jonathan Corbet may have interesting insight into business from the LWN perspective which could be a turn up for the books, at least there will be few suits at the conference, more tie die (Bdale style) than ties.

On Tuesday Multicore and Parallel programming sounds interesting with a fair bit of System administration and Data Storage mini conferences thrown in. Though that is what I put on my original registration, now looking at the streams the Research and Student innovation stream looks pretty awesome, I could even suggest it ties into my work environment a little more closely. Though Vint Cerf is speaking just before lunch which along with his keynote may be a not to be missed session.

The keynotes for the main conference on the whole look likely to be pretty damn good this year, however the real stuff is the conference talks that start Wednesday morning, once again it will be far too hard to choose what to see. My picks are likely to be Behavioural Driven Infrastructure, Making file systems scale: A case study using ext4 (Ted is a great speaker and has interesting things to say most of the time), Making laptops work with Linux, X and the future of Linux Graphics (though maybe I should be at the Beyond init: systemd or Virtual Networking performance: flows, bridging and tunnels as they both look interesting and work relevant, damn hard choices), choosing between Horms with Network Bandwidth Control in Virtualised Environments and jk with Device trees on ARM will be tough and I am sure mean the need to resort to the conference videos, then Can't^W^W^W Touch This! about multi touch in Linux.

And so it goes on, too much cool stuff only one of me, once more where we all wish the clone () system call worked in real life. Bring on my 11th (or 12th if you count CALU in '99)

[/lca] link

Still slow on the diary front - 14:15
I notice it has been a whole month since i last wrote something here, oops. Oh well I guess it shows I am writing it when I get around to it.

I noticed a rather amusing thing at work the other week, there was steam cleaning of the carpets happening and rather than having a van parked out the front of the building a mobile device was being used inside the building, probably slower and covering less area than the normal dry cleaning vans manage.

The cleaner was called "Predator Mk II", which I still find somewhat entertaining, it is strange enough to call a carpet cleaning device a predator, obviously carpets are very similar with gazelles or whatever else various predators may go for, however even stranger is that it was Mk II. Obviously the first model was a little bit ineffective, must have sat around reading Voltaire rather than chasing down "gazelles" on the prairies of office carpets around the place, so back to the design board for another try.

I can sort of see why a machete may be named and marketed as "Predator", or even a pair of running shoes or something, these items share some traits with more well known predators. I am still trying to work out if there are any predators in the wild that are well known for their ability to steam clean the environment or similar.

[/various] link

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